Reviews of technology books, useful or interesting to Windows users

Book Review - Microsoft Office Professional 2010 Step By Step

As the old saying goes, the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. (OK, nowadays it’s more likely to begin by starting the car, but you get the idea.) Complex things are made simple if you take them one step at a time. Microsoft Office Professional 2010 is the most full-featured version of Office that’s offered to the general public today, and it may seem overwhelmingly complex at first. That’s why a book like Microsoft Office Professional 2010 Step By Step can smooth the way to mastery. Let’s see in this review if it manages to be a truly helpful guide or not.

Book Review - Windows 7 for Dummies

There’s a saying that goes something like "To err is human. To really mess things up requires a computer." I think just about anyone who’s ever used a computer has occasionally felt like, well, a dummy—especially when confronted with something that only makes sense to computer programmers or high level hardware geeks. And that’s why the For Dummies series of books is so popular. These books exist for one very good reason: to explain things in a way nearly anyone can understand, without talking down to the reader or going overboard with high-level tech stuff that’s outside the scope of the average user. Windows 7 for Dummies does exactly that, using the same lighthearted formula that’s become standard for the series. To find out more about this book, read the rest of this review.

Book Review - Microsoft Office 2010 Inside Out

In my review of Microsoft Office 2010 Plain & Simple, I noted that that book took a bare-bones approach, and there were other books that could give a more complete look at Office 2010 for those of us who wanted a lot more information. So—is a simplified book not what you need? Do you want a good solid easy-to-understand reference for just about everything there is to know about Microsoft Office? Microsoft Office 2010 Inside Out might be just what you’re looking for.

Book Review - Windows 7 and Office 2010 For Dummies, Book + DVD Bundle

Windows 7 and Office 2010 for Dummies - Book + DVD Bundle, a book for the user who doesn’t want to spend too much time in front of the computer and just wants to finish his work quickly, in order to “move on to something more important”.That’s what the authors say in the introduction to this just-over 300 pages 2 in 1 guide to Windows 7 and Office 2010. I must confess that, when I first glanced at the pocket sized book I raised my eyebrows and muttered a “Hm, this will be interesting!”
I guess you’re just as curious as I was to know how they packed so much information is so little space. Let’s see, shall we?

Book Review - Microsoft Office 2010 Plain & Simple

If you’ve been reading my reviews, you may have noticed that I am a big fan of the printed software manual and not at all enthusiastic about help files and manuals in .pdf format. And I’ve mentioned that Microsoft’s manuals used to be among the best. Microsoft’s printed manuals are no more, but they’ve joined with O’Reilly Media to fill the gap with books, and their Plain & Simple series is a worthy successor to those fine manuals of the past.

Book Review - Windows 7 Plain & Simple

Never has this happened to me before: I start to review this book and I have the final verdict clearly shaped into my mind after only 3 minutes. Ironically, that only made the task more difficult, as I had to make a great effort to lose the preconception, stop thinking about how to gift-wrap this for my grandma, read through and see if Windows 7 Plain & Simple is actually as plain and simple as it seems.

Book Review - Windows 7, The Missing Manual

Have you ever walked through a bookstore or a public library and wondered why there are so many books that try to explain software and hardware? There’s definitely a reason for that. The printed manual is, for the most part, extinct. And people still want to know how things work. Years ago, Microsoft put out some of the best user manuals in the business. Paradoxically, as their software grew and included more and more features, the manuals dwindled away, until today you’re lucky to get a Quick Start Guide. O’Reilly Media’s 'Windows 7, The Missing Manual' helps fill the gap between what Microsoft supplies with Windows 7 and what people really need to know.

Book Review - Windows 7 Annoyances

Has there ever been an operating system that wasn’t annoying? From the day I first used a keypunch machine to make cards for a wheezy old IBM mainframe, through the bizarre syntax used by Commodores, through CP/M’s “you don’t have to be a programmer to get this, but it helps” command structure, through every single version of Microsoft’s operating systems so far--there’s been something in all of them that annoyed me, and I’m sure I’m not alone. Fortunately, now we have O’Reilly Media’s “Annoyances” series to help us fight back.

Book Review - Network Your Computers & Devices, Step By Step

There’s an old joke that goes: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. For many people, setting up a home network is truly the elephant in the room. It’s nowhere near as difficult as it used to be, when you had to buy extra software and hardware and learn a lot of arcane new commands before you could attempt it at all, but it’s still tricky enough that many people need to be guided through the process one "bite" at a time. And what can anyone with a computer do without a network these days?

Book Review - Wireless Home Networking for Dummies

Wireless is, as the authors of this book state from the first paragraph, everywhere these days. It’s incorporated not only your computer, but in your phone, printer and other devices that are close to your heart. If you’re sick of tripping on the cables lying around in your home, or of the fact that the portable computer is not so portable after all, because “the Internet cable doesn’t reach the couch”, then the idea of a wireless network has crossed your mind a few times. This book was written with the purpose of teaching you, the computer user, not the computer scientist, to install and smartly use a wireless network. Let’s see if the purpose is achieved and if you will be able to do it with the sole help of this book, without calling “the friend that knows about computers” (I know you have one, we all have).